Zbavitemi Se Bashku

Today was the day of your community project and it could not have gone better… or rather it went as well as it could when you factor 50 wild Albanian boys into the equation.

We held a field day at the Bishqem 9 year school. We divided the kids into four groups and had four stations with different games; frisbee, tug-of-war, sack race, and three legged race. Over 100 kids turned out! Our goal was to play games from 2 -5 but by one we had a group of about 40 kids standing around waiting for us to tell them what to do! For the first hour we improvised and played various grade school recess games like freeze tag, octopus tag, and duck, duck goose.

At two, we organized the kids into four groups and started working them through the stations. Halfway through we took a water break which was complete chaos. Somehow some kids managed to sneak a torn up piece of paper into one of the water coolers creating a milky pulpy beverage. Lines don’t exist in Albania the water station was a free for all. Several of the rowdier boys kept throwing cups of water on everyone else but much to their chagrin it actually felt pleasant to be splashed with water on a hot day.

I was supposed to be in charge of the tug of war station but each group of kids seemed to have more control over what went on than I did. My Albanian is still improving but I knew a couple key phrases to help run the game such as “Don’t touch the rope.” It really didn’t matter. The kids didn’t really care whether the teams were even or not. They just wanted to grab the rope and pull. Somehow we made it work though and had some pretty good rounds of tug-of-war. I was really impressed with how well everyone ran their stations with as little language skills as we have.

The mayor of Pajove even stopped by and gave out free drinks for all the kids. And by free drinks I mean, 8 oz bottles of bitters. The distribution of these beverages was chaos. The kids wouldn’t even give you time to open the bottles before they would grab them out of your hand and bite the bottle cap off themselves! Overall, I think the event was a success, we provided a place where kids could play together and helped teach them healthy habits such as drinking water and not throwing your trash on the ground. I will post pictures soon!

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